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What you need to know about the New Mexico Civil Rights Act

The New Mexico Civil Rights Act became a law in 2021. A highly debated act within the House, this allows a person to sue any public body if they feel they are experiencing a civil rights violation within that institution. A public body may be a county or city within the state of New Mexico, or the state of New Mexico itself.

The law applies to every citizen in New Mexico, particularly during instances of dispute between an officer and someone they believe is breaking the law.

The major change

The biggest change brought upon by the law applies to qualified immunity, which traditionally kept government employees and employees from being held accountable if they ever get accused of committing a civil rights violation against a member of the public or a coworker.

Under the new law, instead of the individual who committed the civil rights violation, it will be the institution that will need to take accountability. You may sue the institution. This may allow for larger payouts and a more meticulous accountability system for the institution that the offending employee is part of.

There are specific conditions where qualified immunity may apply. You need to be able to prove that the government official’s or body’s action or inaction was the cause of your injury or damage.

Seeking legal counsel

You may be worried about the consequences of this law, especially if you were wronged by the police. You may want to do further research on this law and how it affects your daily life, or you may seek the guidance and opinion of an attorney, especially if you are accused of a civil rights violation.